Thursday, July 26, 2007
Next on the agenda: Bulgaria: Super throw down party for Kaka Yulia's birthday; whirlwind rental car tour of western Bulgaria, settle down for a month of serious studying to become a certified English teacher (by Cambridge Uni, thankyouverymuch).
That's all for now. XOXO from Sarajevo!!
Monday, July 02, 2007
no good stories to tell yet. pics will follow later...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
After an intense testing period, I have discovered this is generally not the truth.
Testing went as followed:
Three plastic water guns were purchased at the local street bazaar.
Water guns were filled in the central water fountain.
Two American testers and one unwitting Bulgarian commenced silly activities, including but not limited to:
- shooting water guns at each other
- running to evade incoming streams of water
- shooting known passersby
- shooting neighborhood kids
Generally, judging from reactions, viewers and participants smiled and laughed convivially rather than pretentiously. In some cases viewers approached the testers for conversation. Overall, results of this experiment were very positive and have yielded mass amounts of laughter-induced endorphins. The testing was repeated more than 4 times and results were consistant.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Nashvilleans can be so generous!
I just read the annual report of Catholic Charities of Tennessee. The numbers are astounding, particularly in areas of refugee and immigrant services. Here are a few:
416 REFUGEES AND
IMMIGRANTS received assistance
in seeking family reunifications,
citizenship, and protection from
persecution and violence through
the Immigration Services Program
205 REFUGEES from around the
world resettled in Nashville, and
225 ADDITIONAL REFUGEES
assisted with ongoing social
services through the Refugee
Resettlement and Refugee Social
300 SOMALI BANTU REFUGEES
were provided extra case management
in order to assist them in their
move toward self-sufficiency
Catholic Charities Tennessee's Refugee and Immigration Services Department made up 22% of the total budget in the last fiscal year. The Social Services expenses were nearly 44 % of the budget. Shockingly, administrative and auxilary services departments made up less than 8% of the expenses for the last fiscal year.
WAY TO GO!!
check them out: Catholic Charities of Tennessee
Cornerstone Church in Madison, Tennessee and its members have decided and committed to renovating a local school. The budget is $180,000 and includes external improvements such as painting, landscaping, and playground equipment. They also plan to provide new computers, toilets, floors, and carpets. Way to go!
The pastor, Maury Davis, said in an article in The Tennessean, "it's time to do something significant, to reach out and affect the lives in our hometown, where God has called us."
Also from the same article, written by Al Cleveland,
For a spiritual standpoint, their mission is fairly well spelled out.
"The Bible says to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, and there are different ways of preaching," Davis said.
"Because of court rulings about separation of church and state, which changed the entire paradigm of how the church relates to the government in the last 40 years, we're not allowed to go in and do Bible studies and things like that. So we're having to find a more contemporary and acceptable way to share the love of Jesus in a
I am refreshed to see a church seeking out and applying ways to show Love.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
every where i look there is something to be done that has no beginning point and no ending point.
the list of tasks to accomplish in the next three weeks brings me to tears. literally.
I just read this in a book called Ask the Dust by John Fante:
"But, I have to smile, for the salt of the sea is in my blood, and there may be ten thousand roads over the land, but they shall never confuse me, for my heart's blood will ever return to its beautiful source."
"Then what shall I do? Shall I lift my mouth to the sky, stumbling and burbling with a tongue that is afraid? Shall I open my chest and beat it like a loud drum, seeking the attention of my Christ? Or is it not better and more reasonable that I cover myself and go on? There will be confusions, and there will be hunger; there will be loneliness with only my tears like wet consoling little birds, tumbling to sweeten my dry lips. But there shall be consolation, and there shall be beauty like the love of some dead girl. There shall be some laughter, a restrained laughter, and quiet waiting in the night, a soft fear of the night like the lavish, taunting kiss of death."
Perhaps the beauty of this passage is lost with out the context, but I think you can appreciate the imagery in and of itself.
how do i pack two years of my life into a few suitcases and end it?
Monday, June 04, 2007
I'm not exactly sure who is the author of the comment on the post, "indignation," but I want to respond to her (i'm pretty sure it's a her because the comment was linked to a women's organization) claim that Truth is the color or Jesus. I understand that to mean that we can realize Truth through an understanding of Jesus. Sounds good...
So then, in who's understanding of Jesus should I rely? Is Jesus the beginning and ending of Truth? Is it possible that Jesus contains Truth, and Truth contains Jesus, but they are not entirely the same thing? I mean, is it possible that in Jesus is everything True, and in Truth is all of Jesus, but there is Truth outside of Jesus, and there is Jesus outside of Truth. What is Truth? AHHHH the anarchy and chaos!!
I have other, more heretical questions. Questions, notions, and ideas that I fielded to my mum and I think I frightened her. Sorry mommo.
I've got something even more heretical rolling through the space between my ears...
I don't believe my salvation lies in a formula of trite phrases, dare I say cliches, based on the opinion of interpreters of interpreters of recorders of Jesus' words. I believe Truth lies within every human heart as it is in the image of God and my salvation lies in my faith and response to that Truth. I believe Jesus is the most perfect way our weak minds can deal with how to respond to Truth and that he was a living representation of Truth.
Heretic thought #429: I think we, the Christian church, have missed the forest for the trees. I think we have stopped responding to Truth because we've been too busy analyzing and trying to figure out what it is in some sense we aren't even meant to understand. I want to simply believe that Truth exists and act on it, respond to it.
Why do I keep capitalizing truth? I'm referring to ultimate Truth, the kind that is etched into your soul. I will make the heretic claim #378 that God is Truth (that's not the heretic part, i know) and that one of the ways to understand God and participate in His nature is to try to seek Truth in our actions - respond to it. How? Think of a big T Truth... All men are created equal, for example. So, if you believe that, do you act on it? Do you try to repair inequalities between people groups? Here's another: All men have the innate right to life. Do you fight to protect life all over the world? Or do you prefer to bicker over what life is? I'll refrain from soapboxing here. By seeking to act in a True way we act in a Godly way, in a way Jesus showed and all the scripture before that sought to mete out through laws.
Maybe this God thing is so much less complicated than our dogma leads us to believe.
I know this post is already chaotic enough, and should be divided up and well organized (maybe some day i'll get ejermacated and write meself a book), but I have one more thought for tonight, and that is a fear. I love this constant questioning and longing of the soul. A quest in which every conclusion raises more questions. I fear some people will doubt my wisdom and authority because I prefer raising questions to giving answers, and think less of me.
Who am I to give answers?
There is an arrogance so foul in the claim that one has a complete grasp on anything of God, which is by default, anything in existence and anything conceivable, since God created all things and is in all things. But that claim is one which the church all over the world and through all of her history has made. This attempt to shackle God into our feeble realm of conceivability is, to my understanding, more blasphemous than anything I have asserted.
Please, do not take from me the mystery of God.
I'd love to hear your thoughts... I brace myself for your criticism, if even to say my thoughts are too muddled to understand.